China is in the process of developing a sixth-generation fighter aircraft, which could potentially make its debut as early as 2035. This development is poised to significantly alter China’s military strategy and reshape the landscape of aerial warfare.

The upcoming sixth-generation fighter (J-25 or J-28 Jianjiji) will stand out for its greater speed, higher operational altitude, and improved radar stealth capabilities. These characteristics will help the aircraft succeed in ground attack and fast penetrating air missions.

One striking aspect of China’s upcoming sixth-generation stealth fighter is its apparent similarity to the Next Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) stealth aircraft being developed by the United States: a tailless design. This innovative approach marks a departure from conventional aircraft configurations.

The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) has unveiled a video featuring CGI concept art of this futuristic stealth fighter. The depicted twin-engine jet fighters exhibit distinctive low-reflective diamond-shaped wings, reminiscent of Northrop Grumman’s YF-23 Black Widow demonstrator fighter. Moreover, these aircraft feature a blended-wing body configuration and notably lack a traditional tail structure.

This finless, tailless aircraft is referred to as a “blended wing-body design.” This arrangement has various advantages, including the capacity to generate more lift, attain longer operational ranges, and consume less fuel. The greatest significant gain, though, is most likely its greater stealth capabilities.

Traditional vertical structures, such as tails and fins, which help with speed, maneuverability, and vectoring, also increase the radar return signature available to against air defenses. The absence of these features enhances the aircraft’s stealth, making it more challenging for adversaries to detect and track.

It is crucial to bear in mind that the artwork and mockups presented at this stage should be interpreted with caution. Many conceptual designs never progress to production and those that do invariably undergo significant revisions.

The precise capabilities of a sixth-generation fighter are unknown, but it is widely expected to outperform its predecessors in a variety of ways. This includes more powerful armament systems, enhanced stealth technologies, artificial intelligence integration, and a variety of other high-end capabilities that will position it as a formidable asset in future air warfare scenarios.

The J-20 of China is now being upgraded to close the gap between it and the F-22 and F-35 of the US. The design includes many elements that have been “copied from the F-22 and F-35, including nose cone shaping, the electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) under the nose, and the side-mounted [diverter less supersonic inlet] intakes,” according to a report.

As a result, the United States, refusal to share much about its sixth-generation jet, could be related to concerns about other countries, “stealing” the design and technical data. An understanding of exterior structures may provide some insight, into the next generation of fighters.